GLOBAL dividend payouts plunged by a fifth in the second quarter.

The dramatic decrease is revealed in the latest Global Dividend Index from Janus Henderson, which shows total payouts fell by $108.1 billion to $382.2bn, the lowest second-quarter total since 2012.

The 22 per cent headline fall equated to a decline of 19.3% on an underlying basis and was easily the worst quarterly drop since the index started at the end of 2009 following the global financial crisis.

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More than a quarter, about 27%, of second quarter payers cut their dividends, and more than half of this group cancelled them outright.

Janus Henderson’s index of global payouts fell to 182.2, a level last seen in the second quarter of 2018.

HeraldScotland:

Above: Janus Henderson

North America was the only region in the world where dividends did not fall, partly because of resilience among Canadian companies.

The worst affected places were Europe and the UK, where payouts fell by two fifths on an underlying basis. Swiss payouts barely changed, and Asia and Australia saw the greatest impact.